Wesfarmers Limited (Wesfarmers) is partnering with The Australian National University (ANU) to provide transformative and unrivalled educational opportunities for Indigenous Australians, with a $5 million donation to the ANU Kambri Scholars Program.
The $5 million Wesfarmers donation is the largest single contribution to a scholarship for Indigenous students in the history of ANU. It will be matched by ANU as part of a protected endowment, ensuring ongoing funding for Indigenous students to access a world-class university education for decades to come.
Launched in 2019, and designed and led by some of Australia’s leading Indigenous educators, the ANU Kambri Scholars Program provides financial, academic and pastoral support for 15 First Nations students to commence their studies at ANU every year.
ANU Chancellor Julie Bishop thanked Wesfarmers for their “generosity and powerful commitment to the future of Australia’s First Nations peoples”.
“Education is key to equality,” Ms Bishop said. “A university degree can have a profoundly positive impact on individuals, their families and their communities.
“The Kambri Scholars Program is helping to create the next generation of Australia’s Indigenous leaders, setting them up for success at university and in their future careers.
“We hope that Kambri Scholars take what they have learned at ANU and make significant contributions to their communities, across the nation and beyond.
“ANU is proud to partner with Wesfarmers as the Kambri Scholars Program Inaugural Corporate Partner, on this critical initiative to improve Indigenous educational outcomes and help transform our nation.”
Wesfarmers has a multi-decade commitment to reconciliation, with a vision for an Australia that affords equal opportunities to all, ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel welcome in its businesses as team members, customers, suppliers and visitors.
The new Wesfarmers/ANU partnership aligns with Wesfarmers Reconciliation Action Plan which includes a focus on sustainable employment and career progression among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members.
“As the inaugural corporate partner to the ANU Kambri Scholars Program, we see an opportunity to support practical measures that will impact and deliver benefits for Indigenous communities,” Rob Scott, Wesfarmers Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said.
“The Kambri Scholars Program helps to make an excellent education more accessible for talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, wherever they live in Australia, delivering benefits far beyond this partnership.
“This significant new partnership with ANU builds upon Wesfarmers’ longstanding commitment to reconciliation, supporting education and helping to advance the careers of First Nations people, knowing these actions will have a lasting impact across the Australian community.”
Since 2019, ANU has awarded funding to 56 Kambri Scholars. Since its inception, the program has doubled the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate students commencing at ANU and the University consistently ranks as one of the top universities in Australia for Indigenous student retention and graduation.
Kambri Scholars include Hunter Culbong, a Noongar man and the first graduate of the program. He is now completing a PhD in criminology at ANU.
“The Kambri Scholarship has been incredibly important to me. It’s the reason I decided to come to the ANU,” Mr Culbong said. “It’s been more than just the financial component, extending to academic assistance, social opportunities with other students and emotional support when university has become overwhelming.
“The best aspect of the scholarship is that its holistic and tailored towards the student’s needs, meaning that they have targeted assistance that’s specified for them. I’ve had a range of different experiences and opportunities throughout the university and beyond because the scholarship has allowed me to.”
Learn more about the Kambri Scholars Program: https://www.anu.edu.au/giving/kambri-scholars
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